MRC OXFORD INSTITUTE FOR RADIATION ONCOLOGY - MISSION STATEMENT
The current overall mission of the Medical Research Council Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology (OIRO) is to explore aspects of radiation biology and physics that have direct applicability to the treatment of cancer underpinned by our understanding of how cells respond to and repair radiation induced damage and the impact of the microenvironment on radiation response.
Most basic science research into DNA damage responses and the tumour microenvironment focus on DNA damage and hypoxia-mediated signal transduction and have focused on the major components of these pathways such as ATR, DNA-PK, and HIF, and while leading to translation into the clinic, have not delivered the new targets necessary to increase the translational pipeline for radiotherapy or mechanistic understanding of how the tumour microenvironment impacts the response to targeted therapies. The MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology has taken a unique, but also complementary approach to uncover new mechanistic understanding of tumour cell response to radiation and the microenvironment through focusing on chromatin changes and modifiers that could also yield a translational pipeline of new concepts for testing in clinical trials. The clinical trial infrastructure at Oxford, especially the Early Phase Clinical Trials Unit is one of the best in the UK at incorporating new molecular analysis and imaging technology to improve the outcome of patients. Lastly, but most importantly, even with the changes in funding and faculty,
OIRO possesses the critical mass of researchers and clinicians to be considered among the best training locations for clinicians and scientists pursuing research into the molecular and cellular biology of the radiation response of tumour cells that has significant translational potential.